South Berwick council hears York River study results – News …

October 10th, 2018 by admin Leave a reply »

SOUTH BERWICK, Maine — A summary of the York River Study highlighted Wednesday’s Town Council meeting.

Jean Demetracopoulos, former town councilor and South Berwick’s representative to the York River watershed study committee, presented an overview of the committee’s findings.

Among the river’s uses reviewed by the committee were hunting, fishing, industry, farming, and concerns regarding overuse of the York River.

The study found that 50 percent of the river’s watershed is under conservation protection, far above the 20 percent threshold to ensure water quality.

The committee met with community organizers involved with a similar study that led to a federal Wild and Scenic Partnership designation for New Hampshire’s Lamprey River.

Eventually, the committee agreed to push the same designation for the York River.

“The advantage to a Wild and Scenic Partnership is that the land along the river and in the watershed remains in private hands,” noted Demetracopoulos. “It doesn’t allow for the taking of land by the federal government.”

It also allows communities along designated rivers to apply for important funding.

“For example, with sea level rise changes, federal monies is available to make improvements to culverts to better deal with the threat of flooding,” stated Demetracopoulos.

This wild and scenic partnership designation is now up for approval by York and Eliot voters this upcoming Election Day on November 6. Demetracopoulos urged the council to consider a public hearing as the first step toward a voter-approved designation in South Berwick, as well.

Later during the meeting, the council unanimously approved

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